Pope Says Organ Trafficking is Morally Wrong

November 10, 2008 § 18 Comments

I still can’t believe that this is controversial among some Catholics, but the Pope has said that buying and selling organs for transplant is morally illicit:

“The problem of availability of organs for transplant, unfortunately, isn’t theoretical but dramatically real,” the pontiff said in a speech to participants of a Vatican-sponsored meeting on organ donations.

But any “buying and selling of organs … would go against the meaning of donation” and would be “morally illicit,” the pope said.

(HT: Inside Catholic)

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§ 18 Responses to Pope Says Organ Trafficking is Morally Wrong

  • JohnMcG says:

    Don’t most churches have pipe organs that would be difficuly to buy and sell?

  • Anonymous says:

    Let me start focusing: “A few ardently pro-life Catholics… believe that what they call ‘silence and treachery’ from the bishops on abortion helped pave the way for Obama’s success.”NOW: Is there any doubt that, if pro-abortion “Catholic” lawmakers were excommunicated, will we STILL be murdering 1.5 million babies in Moloch’s altar yearly?Absolutely? But ohohoh the USCCB keeps displaying intellectual great education, and mannerly refinement, publishing great sounding discourses which insist in covering the pro-abortion-ESCR wolf-culprits as… mere fellow travelers of (Cardinal George brand new sheep skin):“So many people of good will, dutiful priests and loving religious women, bishops and lay people of the Catholic Church who took our social doctrine to heart then can feel vindicated now (with winner Obama)… As bishops, we can only insist that those who would impose their own agenda on the Church, those who believe and act self-righteously, answerable only to themselves, whether ideologically on the left or the right, betray the Lord Jesus Christ…”In other words: congratulations Obama, and (yawning) we feel saaad… in our most august USCCB, checking that the genocide abortion chambers are going full steam.CAN WE ASK ROME TO EXCOMMUNICATE THE INTELLECTUAL LAWMAKERS–not the surgical minions-OF THE BUTCHERED BABIES?I’m sure most bishops mean well: so, allow us to be kind but firm:How will they be judged historically, down the road?Ten years from now people are going to look back at their pious speeches (not self-righteous, God forbid!!!) and… wonder how it was possible a culture built into the wholesale destruction of unborn life.Deep regardsGuillermo Bustamante

  • JohnMcG says:

    <>s there any doubt that, if pro-abortion “Catholic” lawmakers were excommunicated, will we STILL be murdering 1.5 million babies in Moloch’s altar yearly?<>Yes, i think there is some doubt about that.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    I don’t get the pipe organ thing.

  • JohnMcG says:

    It’s pun on “organ.”

  • love the girls says:

    “any “buying and selling of organs … would go against the meaning of donation” and would be “morally illicit”Why can’t body parts from dead people be sold? Is it immoral to sell a skull?While I see that it would be a contradiction, why is it morally illicit to sell organs?Or how about blood, is it immoral to sell one’s own blood for money as the destitute do?What is the principle which requires that the body parts be given as an act of charity?_____________btw, nice set of posts over on vox nova. This says it all zippy writes “You can’t make this stuff up. . . MM and Michael I don’t seem to even realize just how ludicrously deep into self-parody this descends.”

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear johnmcg:THE NAKED FACT (NOT JUDGMENT) IS:USA abortion lawmakers (dozens of them!), WERE allowed by the USCCB to use the name Catholic, to be direct-formal authors of INTELLECTUAL COLD-BLOODED-MURDER.The point STILL is: many bishops do talk the talk but NOT walk the walk of excommunicating them. RESULT: MILLIONS (just check the numbers) of “Catholics” bought the actual non-negotiable genocide as trivial.CordiallyGuillermo Bustamante

  • JohnMcG says:

    Guillermo,That does not prove your assertion that excommunication would have prevented it.

  • e. says:

    I have to agree with John McG — given the wildly rebellious nature of the Pro-Abortion folks in question, I doubt that having excommunicated them would have made a difference on the manner of their advocacy.

  • Tony says:

    Or on their success, for that matter.

  • Mouse says:

    LTG, I think the idea is that it is immoral to use a person as if they were an object. The body constitutes part of the person (since the constitution of human is a spirit-body union). You can’t treat your kidney as a commercial object without objectifying the person whose kidney it is. Even if it is yourself. <> Or how about blood, is it immoral to sell one’s own blood for money as the destitute do? <> Blood is a more difficult case, since it is inherently renewable. I think it falls in between the status of hair and fingernails (which I don’t think anyone will quibble with as morally sale-able) and organs, which clearly fall under the above proscription. I suspect that it really does fall under the prohibition, because there is a natural limit to how much blood you can give without injury or death, and it must be considered an integral “part” of the body – it is integral to the body’s function. Zippy, does that sound right?The fact that destitute people do sell it only means that they have become willing to do bad things, just as destitute women become prostitutes sometimes, and destitute men sell their semen.

  • Anonymous says:

    johnmcg, indeed is not a proof, but an approximation on tens of millions mislead… by the USCCB self-complacent “Laissez faire…”RegardsGuillermo

  • zippy says:

    Mouse:I don’t have a well-formed opinion about the sale of bodily fluids and hair; as you say, there is clearly a difference in kind there from selling a kidney, and I would add that things like wet-nursing have a long tradition behind them. Still, that doesn’t mean I am willing to give commercialization of them a pass with no doubts whatsoever. I’ve said before that it strikes me as possible (though by no means do I assert it with confidence) that getting a tattoo is a venial form of self-mutilation, and selling one’s blood may be a similar thing. Certainly we aren’t dealing with things of the same gravity as selling a kidney there though.

  • love the girls says:

    Mouse writes :”You can’t treat your kidney as a commercial object without objectifying the person whose kidney it is.”Alright, So the principle in action is that Alfred Packer couldn’t sell his companions to the locals in equal desperate straights, but he could sell his labor of packaging and distributing his companions. Or in modern terms, organ selling companies can sell their labor of packaging and distribution, but the family of the person in a comma, (in a comma where he can’t defend himself from being chopped up and sold), is cut out of the action.But I still wonder, what of Yorick’sskull which is sitting on my desk which I found while on a walk home, can I sell it on ebay?It’s whose skull it is which makes it worth a bit, so am I selling the skull, or am I selling its association with Yorick? Likewise, can I sell ‘fresh good’ body parts where what is being sold is not the body part per se, but fresh and good parts since long dead body parts are not useful for implantation?

  • Mouse says:

    I would hesitate here, but it strikes me that, on the one hand, selling a skull (which cannot be used as a skull by someone in need of a replacement skull) is probably not what the Pope had in mind in saying you can’t sell body parts. And on the other hand, it smacks pretty strongly of disrespect for the dead, that is, disrespect for the bodily component of a <> person <> to have it just sitting on your desk, or to sell it so someone else can. As if the body is just an object. I wonder: is selling the “association” with Yorick or whoever it is who is famous another kind of perversion – as if to say Yorick’s skull is inherently worth more because Yorick is worth more, because he is <> someone <>. Whereas Bob the electrician is worth less. In God’s eyes these “worths” are worthless, He is no respecter of worldly status.

  • love the girls says:

    Staying with the same principle of objectifying the person:Is it immoral to pay a person to be used as part of an experiment such as when drug companies pay people to test the latest drug for side effects?_____Mouse writes : “it smacks pretty strongly of disrespect for the dead, that is, disrespect for the bodily component of a person to have it just sitting on your desk”Or is it doing the opposite? Is it not treating them as person’s?Was it disrespectful of Hamlet to hold Yorick’s skull? Or for the grave digger to simply dig him up to make room for another? Or for St. Jerome to have a skull on his table? We hide the dead away from the living as opposed to having our graveyards surrounding our parish churches or in the family plot where we can go see them and pray for the regularly. We hide the dying away in hospitals and the newly dead are hidden at the morgue as opposed to being brought home.A short while back, Zippy had a set of posts on paying a living wage as opposed to treating men as objects to be used, where the error is ignoring our fellow man’s humanity, Hamlet on the other hand held Yorick’s skull and confronted his old friend’s humanity.________________ If a dying friend said to a destitute family, “take my body and sell it to buy a farm”, why is the friend’s humanity not recognized in the selling of his body parts whereas it is recognized in the giving of his body parts? Chopping up some person in a hospital strikes me as much less respectful of the dead body where they speak of harvesting.

  • zippy says:

    <>A short while back, Zippy had a set of posts on paying a living wage as opposed to treating men as objects to be used, where the error is ignoring our fellow man’s humanity, Hamlet on the other hand held Yorick’s skull and confronted his old friend’s humanity.<>Well, I agree that mere possession of a relic of a person isn’t a problem per se.<>If a dying friend said to a destitute family, “take my body and sell it to buy a farm”, why is the friend’s humanity not recognized in the selling of his body parts whereas it is recognized in the giving of his body parts?<>This subject seems important to you, since you keep asking the same question. As with many concrete questions about concrete acts, often all we have, if we can’t get recognition of what is wrong with the act itself, is analogy. Why is it wrong for a woman to sell her body to strangers but licit for her to give her body to a particular man she takes for a husband? Because the body is sacred and human, integral to a particular person, as Mouse says; not something to be commodified, turned into a product for sale.

  • Mouse says:

    LTG, I agree with some of what you are saying here, but have reservations about others. Hamlet may have been honoring dead Yorick, but if he had sold the skull to someone who did not know Yorick, how could that person be honoring him, rather than using his skull as a curiosity piece? I have no bone of contention about how we like to hide from death. I would not mind in the least having cemetaries back next to the parish church. But there are other acceptable customs – I think I heard that Japanese Christians have never really used burial widely, and with land at a premium other options can be respectful. Digging up a body to re-use a grave is not “using” the dead body, it is “using” the space. In Italy this has been done to create more space, but the custom was to continue to treat the previous body with respect – transferring many to a common grave. (Incidentally, they also developed a standard for when they came across an incorrupt body – put it back and wait 25 years to see if it is still incorrupt, then initiate proceedings for sainthood. <> If a dying friend said to a destitute family, “take my body and sell it to buy a farm”, why is the friend’s humanity not recognized in the selling of his body parts whereas it is recognized in the giving of his body parts? <> I think the idea looks attractive, but to my eye it looks very much like saying that it is OK to commercialize my body as an object as long as you have good, sound human objectives for the money. What you want to do with the money cannot make the commercial selling OK if commercializing a body as a commodity is intrinsically disordered. On the other hand, I think that there could be some philosophical room for a different handling for a dead person as opposed to a living person’s organs. If a living person were to sell one of his kidneys, this would clearly be making his body into a commodity and would be wrong. However, the body of a dead person is no <> longer <> a human being – i.e. a body-soul union – which by definition means the body is no longer the body that forms part of a human person. Once the soul has left the body, you’re dealing with what “used to be human” instead of what <> is <> human. As a matter of common sense and wise policy, it makes sense to continue to treat that body with respect <> in order to foster an attitude of even greater respect for the human person, <> but it is not inherently disordered to treat it as if it were an object. That matter of policy might say that it is wise to protect human values by not selling even a dead person’s organs, but that would hardly be a philosophically required conclusion.

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